Ogilvy's Creative Legacy

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Just because it is a "well-oiled machine" does not mean WPP Group's Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide produces uninspired, cookie-cutter creative work. In fact, just the opposite is true.

Ads for five separate clients-Cotton, American Express Co., Motorola, Perrier Group and IBM Corp. (above and on Page S-12)-reveal the depth of Ogilvy's creative concepts and expression. Not one is predictable.

A trade-directed print campaign for a commodity product-cotton-conveys the fabric's coolness on several, subtle levels. A sculpted doll, standing on a beach at dusk, wears a midriff-baring halter and hip-hugging jeans. Cotton's simple qualities-it is lightweight and hip-become memorable in that visually unusual context.

Ogilvy's creative succeeds because it is different and deftly done. Sassy copy and simple images communicate the smarts of Motorola appliances and technology. "I'm spoiled," bold-face, capital letters over a milk carton scream. The reply, pasted over a refrigerator: "I know." Motorola's tagline, "Intelligence everywhere," makes sense.

A TV spot, sponsored by American Express, encouraged New Yorkers to return to lower Manhattan. "You don't want to force feed the audience and insist they must go downtown," says Rick Boyko, Ogilvy's co-president New York and chief creative officer-North America. "But you want them to know that these great people ... are resilient and they're back up and running."

But the topper is "The Heist," a commercial for longtime client IBM's e-Servers that engagingly communicates the benefits of a state-of-the-art system that can help companies save money. "That's a spot where you take a complex subject and just break it down with humor, " says Mr. Boyko. "It doesn't work in a lot of places, especially with technology, but it did here."

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